Holidays Our little holiday diary

Australia Part Two

PART TWO!!

Day 9.

Got up early to try and get the early bird tour of the Sydney Opera House again, forgetting it was Sunday and the trains were few and far between, Went for our “continental breakfast” but didn’t fancy the “cat licked” plates, so went out hungry.

To cut a long story short, (you know we ramble on) when we got to the Opera House, we were ONE MINUTE late and were not allowed on that tour. Doh! We are destined not to get the cheaper tour.

In the meantime, because the Botanical Gardens are right next to the SOH we decided to have a ride round them on a Thomas the Tank Engine type train. It was an easy way to see everything, and we like to take the easy way! We saw some extremely interesting plants, including the Bottle Tree, which was very unusual.

When we finished the tour, we were then in time for the expensive tour of the Opera House. (Typical of us). The outside was made up of numerous roof’s, comprising of white rounded, self cleaning Italian Tiles. They were specifically designed and built to give the ultimate in acoustics. They was very impressive,  Even more impressive were the theatres underneath. (Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of them). In the main concert hall, we were privileged to hear the Sydney Opera House Orchestra rehearsing a beautiful rendition of…. “I’ve no idea what” but it was awesome. We were invited to buy tickets for the actual performance, but from a cool £115 to £230 per seat we decided to give it a miss this time.

The next iconic visit was to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, locally know as the “Coat Hanger Bridge” where one of us fully intended to walk up and over but when He found out the price was £180, he decided they would have to pay him much more than that.  Apart from the fact that there would have been a three hour training session, he would have had to shoehorn himself into a thermal suit that he probably couldn’t even have got over his nose, there was also a blood alcohol test which let him off the hook completely. Having said all that , he couldn’t even walk up stairs without stopping for breath.

Day 10.

Today we thought we would go to the beach and sunbathe. I have got my polo neck, long sleeved, long legged bikini especially for the occasion. His lordship has got his thermal thong! and flip flops. Not a pretty picture. With all this preparation, where else could we go but to the famous topless Bondi Beach. We got there via train and bus with our runabout tickets.  The surf was good for the die hard’s  but as it was a freezing cold wind and everyone on the beach still had their coats, gloves and scarves on, Eric was very disappointed, It was supposed to be a topless beach and the girls weren’t even taking their hats off. The promenade was reminiscent of Blackpool, all fish and chips shops and burger bars. Even St Annes beach is much bigger.

Day 11.

We have discovered a local café, great meals, very reasonable and get very well looked after by Maria and her Mum. We had a brilliant breakfast, we are definitely going to come back here.

Had a bit of a discush between ourselves about the hire car and decided that Eric’s head and nose wouldn’t fit in the Compact Car that we had booked provisionally. We went back to the hire company office to upgrade to a larger car. Michael wasn’t available but the gentleman we saw said that he could sort us out with our request. We went through the procedure of upgrading, during which time Michael came back into the office. We ended up hiring a pretty blue one. (Eric’s description, Ford Falcon XR6 with low slung suspension, alloy wheels etc)., When we mentioned the free taxi, this man, who turned out to be the branch manager, blew a fuse and said that there was no way that the company would pay for a taxi. Michael overheard this, stepped in and stuck up for us big time. To cut the story short (for a change) Michael won the day for us and got us the deal he had offered us.

Day 12.

Spent the AM writing postcards to all and sundry. Went to our little café again for lunch. We had two chicken escalopes each with chips and the biggest salads ever. Only £2.50 each. Wish we had found them earlier. They gave us their address cos they wanted to know how the rest of our trip went. (We did write to them when we got home but they never replied…shame really.

We took the train into town and had a very nice meander through Hyde Park and saw a magnificent water feature, then on to the Sydney Art Museum, Great paintings but weird sculptury things. We spent some time in there. After that we  came across a barracks museum that went back to the days of the prisoner colonies.  A right load of barracks!!

Day 13

Another ferry ride, this time to Balmain, it sounded very impressive on the brochure but we think there was a north and south, and we got off at the wrong one. What a very weary looking area. We got a bus into town and found a Post office (no bullet proof glass nor bars, just an open counter) to buy stamps for the post cards we had bought earlier, very expensive but all are worth it. We had a very tasty ice cream.

Day 14.

Left the Wreck at 10.00am after deciding not to share our “continental breakfast” with the cat. Mein Host and his very pretty oriental wife (who gave Eric a big hug so making his day) saw us off.  Took the taxi to collect our hire car. The fare was £17.50. Saw Michael,  who couldn’t reimburse us in cash because he had no access to the till, so he rearranged the bill and knocked a hundred pounds off. which we sure he did to spite the manager. Many thanks again Michael. Not all bad in Sydney Heh!

 

Summary of Sydney.

 

Very friendly English people but very hard to find.  We were warned there are area’s we shouldn’t visit, we were never told where. I’m pretty sure we hit most of them. Surprisingly, there was a lot of graffiti ridden public trains and an obscene amount of rubbish on the seats and floors. Very disappointing considering they had recently held the Olympic Games there. Having said that, a city is a city!

Please bear in mind our tale wouldn’t be as amusing if everything went according to plan and we want it to be taken in a light hearted way, however, we did have some fantastic times. While we probably sound like a couple of grumpy old people, we find that after a few weeks, we tend to look back at all our holidays and admit that they were better than we have been saying.

 

Goodbye Sydney... Brisbane here we come...

Why not try Part Three?

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